Alabama - Disclosure of Confidential Records

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Statute:

26-14-8(c)-(d)
Records Confidential: Yes

Persons with access to records
CPS/State Agencies

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Courts/Judges

Grand Juries

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Attorneys, GAL's

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Public/Any Person

Persons without access to records

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Subject of Reports

Public disclosure in child fatality or near fatality cases

Ala. Code 26-14-8(c), (d) (Supp. 1998)

The State Department of Human Resources shall establish and enforce reasonable rules and regulations governing the custody, use, and preservation of the reports and records of child abuse and neglect. The use of such reports and records shall be limited to the purposes for which they are furnished and by the provisions of law under which they may be furnished.

The reports and records of child abuse and neglect shall be confidential and shall not be used or disclosed for any purposes other than:

*To permit their use to prevent or to discover abuse or neglect of children through the information contained therein, except reports or records in cases determined to be 'not indicated' shall not be used or disclosed for purposes of employment or other background checks;

*For investigation of child abuse or neglect by the police or other law enforcement agency;

*For use by a grand jury upon its determination that access to such reports and records is necessary in the conduct of its official business;

*For use by a court where it finds that such information is necessary for the determination of an issue before the court;

*For use by any person engaged in bona fide research who is authorized to have access to such information by the Commissioner of the State Department of Human Resources;

*For use by any person authorized by a court to act as a representative for an abused or neglected child who is the subject of a report;

*For use by a physician who has before him or her a child whom (s)he reasonably suspects may be abused or neglected; or

*For use by an attorney or guardian ad litem in representing or defending a child or his or her parents or guardians in a court proceeding related to abuse or neglect of said child;

*For use by Federal, State, or local government entities, social service agencies of another State, or any agent of such entities, having a need for the information in order to carry out their responsibilities under law to protect children from abuse or neglect; or

*For use by child abuse citizen review or quality assurance or multidisciplinary review panels; or

*For use by child fatality review panels; or
For public disclosure of the findings or information about the case of child abuse or neglect which has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality; the term 'near fatality' means an act that, as certified by a physician, places the child in serious or critical condition. Information identifying by name persons other than the victim shall not be disclosed.

The names of persons or information in the investigative report placed on the State's central registry which may be made available to the alleged perpetrator's employer, prospective employer, or others are those cases that the Department of Human Resources or the investigative hearing officer has determined child abuse or neglect to be indicated.
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